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  1. #1
    Moabicon's Avatar
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    Camping around the Ouray area?

    I'm looking to do the trails around Ouray in mid August. Does anyone know of some good areas to camp around there? We'll either be tent camping or have a small popup. Amphitheater campground is already full. I can't remember what the KOA is like, but don't normally go for that type of camping. What about places to camp in out in the national forrest areas?
    Last edited by Moabicon; June 18th, 2011 at 08:42 AM.
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  2. #2
    I go camping in the Ouray / Silverton area all the time. I bring a tent and sleeping bag in my CJ. Whenever it starts to get late in the day I can always find a place along the side of the trail. I know that plan might not work out so well with a pop-up trailer. Some of those trails are not the ones you want to be pulling a trailer.
    I would take your trailer to the Eureka area north of Silverton. Go through Silverton. At the north end of Downtown (just past a bridge over a small creek) there is a Y intersection a lot of people miss.

    Turn right here. The road starts off paved and then turns gravel. Here's a shot of the Eureka area.

    The place everyone camps is to the right of this picture. People bring motor homes up here but to continue you should have 4WD. This area gets crowded some weekends such as 4th of July but you should be fine during August weekdays. I prefer the Silverton area to Ouray. It's true Ouray has some more well known trails such as Imogene Pass but Silverton has more trails. To get to Ouray continue north with your Jeep toward Engineer Pass. Just before the pass you will see a fork to highway 550. This trail will dump out 3 miles south of Ouray.
    Last edited by BusaDave9; June 18th, 2011 at 08:11 AM.
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  3. #3
    Moabicon's Avatar
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    Thanks for the info. I saw this area was mentioned in the Wells book. We may give it a try.

  4. #4
    The KOA in Ridgeway is realllllly nice for a KOA. Dave is the manager, good guy. Tent sites (ask for one out back) are about 23 bux..but you get full private bathrooms to use (showers and toilets..sometimes there's a wait), and no worries about leaving your site set up. Our full size jeep group has been going there for almost 10 years now. They have a little porch resturant that serves dinner and breakfast, good deal on eats if you dont want to cook your own. Unless our group is there, it's nice quiet camping with no noise allowed after 10 (or they'll chastise you )

    Up on the trails, last time I asked the Rangers, BLM land was open to camp on without permits, fire restrictions apply. Private property is the exception, but there's always signs up. If you head up Yankee Bird Mine road in Silverton, there's nice camping in Governers Basin...if it's not snowed in.
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  5. #5
    We camped off of Mineral Creek just west of Poughkeepsie. It was a nice site down from the road a bit next to the creek. We were there for 3 nights I believe. Might be a bit tricky getting a pop up in that far unless it was SOA with bigger tires, but it'd be good for tent camping.
    www.staythetrail.org

  6. #6
    Jefe's Avatar
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    Stayed at the KOA 2x now once tent, once small cabin. Very nice campground!

  7. #7
    Lilly Bear ColoradoXJ's Avatar
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    Another note... If you plan on camping in the tundra (above tree line), your vehicle MUST stay on the dirt surface of the roads/pullouts. Unlike other areas where you can park off the route to camp, you are not permitted to do so in the alpine sections of the Alpine Loop.

    Just a heads up...
    Please consider contributing towards my Summit for Someone effort, benefiting at-risk urban youth.
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    AND... don't forget to Stay The Trail.

  8. #8
    Lilly Bear ColoradoXJ's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Big Dave View Post
    We camped off of Mineral Creek just west of Poughkeepsie. It was a nice site down from the road a bit next to the creek. We were there for 3 nights I believe. Might be a bit tricky getting a pop up in that far unless it was SOA with bigger tires, but it'd be good for tent camping.
    It was good for tent camping. Except for that damned deer disturbing my slumber...



  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by Jefe View Post
    once small cabin. Very nice campground!
    Cost per night?...
    The benefits from MILSPEC requirements are priceless!

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by Knuckelhead View Post
    Cost per night?...
    cabins are around 50 a night. Bring your own bedding..has bunkbeds with VERY thin mattresses on them. They are like cabin-sheds..cute and cozy and small. The ones right on the river are sweet.

  11. #11
    I've been staying at the Riverside Inn/Cabins for years. Not really camping, but they do have camping cabins with community showers and bathroom. Nice setting. Right on the river, a little bit out of town but not too far to walk.

    http://www.ourayriversideinn.com/index.html

    There are some other campgrounds on either side of the Riverside Inn which look more bare bones for tent camping and RV's, but they've always been closed when we've been there. (we only go in the off-season).
    Last edited by _CJ; June 19th, 2011 at 08:27 AM.

  12. #12
    Moabicon's Avatar
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    Thanks for the help.
    I was just thinking that it made more sense to camp around Ouray as opposed to around Silverton because of the locations of the trails. Less time driving on asphalt aired down etc... I may have been wrong about that. I have only been there once and that was a 4 day trip in 2006. We camped at the Amphitheater campground that time. Anyone know if there's much camping along Last Dollar Rd?

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Moabicon View Post
    Anyone know if there's much camping along Last Dollar Rd?
    There are a few spots along Last Dollar, and a real deal campground at the top of the climb coming out of Telluride. Not very central to most trails and kind of a pain to get in and out on a daily basis. Silverton would be better. Lots of Nat Forest camping areas between Silverton and Animas Forks.

  14. #14
    Jefe's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by MtnRat78 View Post
    cabins are around 50 a night. Bring your own bedding..has bunkbeds with VERY thin mattresses on them. They are like cabin-sheds..cute and cozy and small. The ones right on the river are sweet.
    Yup! We were staying there with our 6mos old and our 3 year old. Perfect for that! We were right on the river/stream also.

  15. #15
    Moabicon's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by _CJ View Post
    Silverton would be better. Lots of Nat Forest camping areas between Silverton and Animas Forks.
    That is sounding better. Thanks!

  16. #16
    Oh yeah, in Silverton, you can drive out and camp right by the river next to town. There's a sandy road and flats..can get ANY sized RV beast out there. Just be careful if you have kids..

  17. #17
    Also, don't forget Ironton between Ouray and Silverton. All free camping in there, but no amenities at all. Right off the highway along the one flat stretch, can't miss it. Trail right there for Corkscrew leading to Poughkeepsie Gulch. Better for RV camping than tent sites, but it's free.

  18. #18
    South fork of mineral creek outside of Silverton has lots of great sites and some areas have vault toilets. Head west out of Silverton toward Ouray it's a few miles out of town on the south side of the road, last turn off before Ophir pass road.

  19. #19

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    http://www.coloradodirectory.com/4j11rvpark/

    Never been there, but i have heard it is nice.
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  20. #20
    How did they fair for snowfall down in the Ouray area this winter?

  21. #21
    Quote Originally Posted by zillacon View Post
    How did they fair for snowfall down in the Ouray area this winter?
    We got more snow than normal (147% snowpack) but from what I hear not as much as the front range.
    Here is a shot of Cinnamon Pass on 6/4/2011

    On June 12th I was in the mountains over Silverton. The higher trails were still closed from snow. The trails near town were mostly clear.
    The snowplow comes up from Silverton and on June 12th they made it to the spot where the fork is to go to 550 or up to Engineer Pass. They didn't make it any further. At that spot this FJ got 2 tires off the trail. He tried to get back on by backing up. Instead he made it worse.


    I think the best, most central location, to camp is Eureka. You can air down there and spend a couple weeks exploring trails. Ouray and Telluride have a few well known trails but Silverton has more trails.

  22. #22
    Quote Originally Posted by ColoradoXJ View Post
    It was good for tent camping. Except for that damned deer disturbing my slumber...

    Deer>Cows. . .just sayin!
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